Deputy President Paul Mashatile has launched a fight back against claims of corruption involving him and his family.
This comes amid reports that his son, Thabiso, and son-in-law Nceba Nokwelo are directors of a company that has registered a R37 million mansion in which Mashatile lives.
According to News24, the multi-million Rand house in question is registered on a 99-year lease under Legacy Properties directed by Thabiso and Nonkwelo.
It is also thought that Nonkwelo Investments “received at least four loans from the Gauteng Partnership Fund totalling at least R30 million between 2013 and 2017 – overlapping with Mashatile's second stint as human settlements MEC.”
The report further states that the loans which Nonkwelo received were earmarked to “develop a property in Highlands, Johannesburg, for student accommodation but construction was allegedly never completed”.
Mashatile has, however, refuted claims of embezzlement saying no malfeasance activities took place during his tenure as MEC for housing.
In an exclusive-sit down with IOL at the OR Tambo House in Pretoria on Wednesday, Mashatile, who was sworn in as Deputy President in March this year, said he was aware of a smear campaign aimed at “proving that he is not the right person for the job.”
“What people forget is that there are institutions that deal with that. In government, there are lifestyle audits. You declare where you live, what you own and I've done that. So if people want to know whether I live a lavish lifestyle, they will get it from the lifestyle audits that are conducted on all of us.”
WATCH: Deputy President Paul Mashatile responds to suggestions there is a smear campaign against him
Mashatile laughed off suggestions that he was wealthy and that his family had unduly benefited from his previous roles in government.
Asked whether during his time in Gauteng, he had solicited any bribes or used his influence to broker deals, Mashatile replied: “Not at all.”
He added: “In fact, by next year I would have been in government for 25 years if I minus the five that I left to become the ANC treasurer-general. In the 25 years that I have been in government, I have never been accused of corruption. I have never been called to the State Capture Commission. I'm not a businessman. I don't have business partners.”
The ANC’s second-in-command highlighted that he ran many governments in the past.
“I was MEC for Housing, police transport, you name it. In national government, I was the Minister of Arts and Culture. I have done big projects together with Tokyo (Sexwale) who began Gautrain as well as Mbhazima Shilowa. I ran and adjudicated a R26 billion project. There was no corruption. You can go and look at all the projects I did. No corrupt activities were reported.”
Mashatile said he is determined to see through the mandate he was given by those who elected him into office.
“I can't stop people from writing about me. Where I live has never been a secret. People know where I live. It's out there. Everything I have led in government is audited. If you want to know if corruption has taken place, you go to audits,” he said.